Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gillette, Cam-Plex and More Projects

We arrived in Gillette yesterday afternoon around 3 pm and the thermometer read 99 degrees. We topped off the diesel at Flying J, intending to park overnight in the WalMart lot along with about 15 other RVs. However, we had seen a billboard for Crazy Woman Campground on the way into town, and Don suggested we consider staying there if they had a site available.

With all the Escapees converging on this town for the upcoming Escapade, I was surprised when I called to learn that there were open sites! We didn’t like the first site assigned us because of it being very unlevel and under a low-hanging tree. Don returned to the office and got another site that turned out to be fine. By the time we got set up the thermometer read 103! It was really nice to turn on the a/c and cool off. This campground isn’t the most scenic we’ve been in, as evidenced by this view out our windshield, but it sure was nice to feel that cool air flowing!


At precisely 8:00 am today, we moved into the giant Cam-Plex Facility. The parking crew led me forward (past Dennis Hill’s Little Green Man on the right, dressed in cowboy duds!) and mistakenly took me too far down the road. So I had to drive the motorhome around a few more turns to get turned around and come back to the site assigned to us.


Don and I are serving on the Escapade Staff for the first time. Our job is to coordinate volunteers to help with all the various events during the rally. After picking up our staff information packet, we had a meeting with Molly Pinner, Escapade Director along with her hubby Bob, to gain a better understanding of our job. We have experienced assistants, W.C. and Leslie Earnst, whom we met today.

This afternoon we attended a meeting of all staff and learned more about the overall operation. Tickets were drawn for door prizes, and we were the recipients of a very nice Strongback chair! Yes, Nick, we now have a chair like yours! (Although I think it’s a different model.) Don and I might be fighting over this one. Maybe we’ll have to buy another… Hey, maybe that’s why the chair was donated as a door prize, you think?

When our names were called for the prize, the person announcing winners stumbled over the pronunciation of Del Rosario. Later, Angie Carr, Executive Director, humorously asked the audience to repeat after her “Don and Sharon Del Rosario” and she pronounced it right! Thanks, Angie!

We enjoyed happy hour with the staff and chatted with many friends, and got acquainted with lots of others. This is a hugging group, very friendly and supportive. Later we went to Pokey’s BBQ with W.C. and Leslie and got to know them a little better. The food was good and plentiful – we both brought home boxes for another meal/snack.

Now, I’ll switch gears to focus on a topic near and dear to my heart. A couple of days ago I got out my jewelry-making kit and put together these earrings, using the pink ribbon breast cancer awareness beads that Gloria King gave me. Thanks, Gloria!


I wore them with my Fight Like a Girl T-shirt.


I also bought yarn for making a boa.


And two chemo caps.


Inspired by a display in Michael’s, it’s another way to help victims of this terrible disease. As a survivor, I’m a strong supporter of the ongoing research and I encourage every woman (and man) to get regular check-ups and mammograms.

If you knit or crochet, look for this display at Michael’s or go online to find some of these projects.


Finally, if you don’t already do this, I encourage my readers to click daily on the Breast Cancer Site to help provide free mammograms for people who can’t afford them. It’s free, and only takes a few seconds of your time. Also, if you can spare some cash as a charitable donation, I recommend the Susan G. Komen organization. The web site is also a wonderful resource for anyone who’s been diagnosed or just needs more information about the disease.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Great Falls to Billings

We decided to leave Great Falls today rather than tomorrow, since we learned that more of our friends (Fennells and Hinmans) were in Billings and would be leaving tomorrow. It was a pleasant drive over roads neither Don nor I had ever been on. Parts of the trip were through pretty scenery, with rivers, hills, trees and green countryside. There were lots of fields of hay, herds of cows and grain elevators in between the small towns.

Arriving in Billings from a different direction than we had used before, and with a different destination was a little tricky. We decided to stay one night with 30-amps at the Moose Lodge. The small Acer computer we use for the Silverleaf program and MS Streets & Trips (MSST or “Misty”) couldn’t find the street address or “Moose Lodge Billings.” So I used the navigation app on my Droid to get us there. We swapped drivers just outside of town so I could be the navigator and Don would be the white-knuckle driver through town. I managed to get us here, not without a few glitches, but we didn’t make any of the wrong turns I almost got us into!

The building is large and so is the parking lot, but it doesn’t seem like a very active lodge. At least not on Sunday afternoon.


We got set up near one of the power posts (notice we’re using leveling pads under the wheels because our jacks are still broken).


Then we drove to the Eagles' Lodge for happy hour with Caroline and Art Fennell, and Marlene and Frank Hinman, who are parked there. It was so nice to catch up with these friends after not seeing them for several months. We’re all on our way to the Escapade (Escapees RV Club annual rally) in Gillette, Wyoming.


When we returned to our motorhome at the Moose Lodge, we discovered Chris and Charles Yust parked right next to us! They’re both our friends and our GMAC/Good Sam insurance agents. What a nice surprise!


They had rescued our Magne Shades after 2 of them blew off in a strong windstorm that hit a few minutes before we got back. In fact, we almost stopped for dinner on the way back from the Eagles’ but we decided to come check on the motorhome and Shadow because of the storm.

Chris didn’t want me to take her picture. Oh, well!


The 4 of us went to dinner at Olive Garden and enjoyed great food and conversation.

Tomorrow we’ll move to the KOA where we have a reservation, to visit with more friends, Bill and Helen Moll, our original purpose for stopping in Billings. We’re treating ourselves to two nights in this original KOA Kampground, with sky-high rates, and will make the most of their hot tub and other amenities.